Angry workers at the Freetown City Council (FCC) yesterday staged peaceful demonstrations at their head office against Winstanley Bankole Johnson.
The workers, who were holding placards, asked Mayor Johnson to account for 3.5 billion Leones.Explaining the reason for their protest Alusine S Bangura, a shop steward, said the reason was for them to access their two millions Pounds Sterling for their gratuity and superannuation and also for Winstanley Bankole Johnson to withdraw his signature at the Crown Agent based in the United Kingdom. He explained that in 2001 people at the Crown Agent asked that the FCC account be closed because of the formation of the National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT). The shop steward pointed out that in 2005 Mayor Johnson withdrew one million Pounds Sterling from the account to pay workers and that since that time “we have not received anything from the account.”Steven Mattia, the Public Relations Officer, said the workers were in distress and wanted their money.He disclosed that the former Mayor before he proceeded on leave told them that he would withdraw his signature internally but not externally.Addressing the angry protesters Minkailu Mansaray, the minister of Labour and Social Security, said he was speaking to them not as a minister of the All People’s Congress (APC) but on industrial matter.Mr Mansaray told them that he had listened carefully to their complaints and said it was a right for workers to raise concerns for their working conditions.He asked thir claims, grievances, and issues raised by the workers and send it to him.The minister also gave an ultimatum of three weeks to look into the matter after which he would get back to them. The Labour minister admonished them to start work as he would meet with the minister of Local government and internal affairs and also with the acting Mayor and his deputy.